We writers are often a private bunch. A lot of this is, I’m sure, because there’s a much higher percentage of introverts in the writer population. We can only take so much interaction before we need some cave time to recover. But there’s also another reason many of us seek privacy–and I think it has to do the fact that this dream of ours is so precious, so much a part of our souls that we want to hold it close, keep it safe from ridicule (because, of course, ridicule of it equals ridicule of us and nobody wants that).
This has, I’ve noticed, resulted in a certain brand of timidity among some writers. Some of you don’t even mention you’re writers on your social media profiles or your blog bios. It’s like you feel it’s some dirty little secret. Or like you have to achieve some level of something in order to claim the designation. Some of you don’t want to tell anybody you write. At least not outside The Club of other writers. I confess, I’ve often been guilty of this–at least outside of my circle of friends. It’s not something I wanna bring up at my Evil Day Job (which is in university academia)–although that’s less because I’m worried about being judged and more that I don’t want to answer awkward questions from non-romance readers (because non-romance readers often ask completely asinine, idiotic and insulting things of those of us in romance–but I digress). It has resulted in my leading a sort of double life. Life as responsible, boring, real world me and life as author me–aka, ACTUAL ME. I say actual me because being a writer is WHO I AM. There is no defining my true self without that characteristic.
I spent many many years listening to well-meaning family members that writing was only a hobby and it was impractical and of course I needed to study and do well in school and go get a Real Job when I graduated (my parents being of the generation where those two things actually had a connection). I studied my butt off, and I did exceptionally well in school (I like school, like learning things, so that worked out), but I wasn’t happy. Not deep down in the gut happy. I wrote, but only when I could fit it in, which was less and less once I hit grad school because…well, GRAD SCHOOL. I actually used NaNo one year to get me through writing my Master’s Thesis (which was surprisingly effective). That was round about the time I realized that I didn’t want to keep going to get my PhD. I didn’t want to keep riding that train for another four years, plus post doctoral training and clinical placement because IT WOULDN’T MAKE ME HAPPY. I finally owned that the ONLY thing that was going to make me truly, soul-deep happy, was writing. And I took ownership of my dream. I finished grad school, got a decent job (finally), and have done the responsible thing (I’m nothing if not the practical sort), but in the midst of all that, I began treating writing as a job in and of itself. I gave it that importance in my life and forced others to do the same (that’s been a bit more of a challenge–see aforementioned “That’s a nice hobby, dear.”).
I am writer! Hear me…TYPE!
So my challenge to you for Round 3 is to OWN YOUR DREAM. Own the title of writer. Because there’s only ONE QUALIFICATION for being a writer–and that is to write. It’s not a designation that belongs only to the published, not a designation that belongs only to those whose support themselves by their words. You need only write. Any of you who have “hobby” or “aspiring” written somewhere in your bios or profiles in conjunction with writing, DELETE THOSE WORDS. If you’re here with the rest of us, you’re a real writer.
And if it’s relevant, make it a part of your goals.
For you newbies who are just joining us, welcome to ROW80. How this works is that you will decide what you want your goals to be (suggestions on what makes for good goals can be found here) and write them up on YOUR BLOG. Then you will link back to that post in the linky below. We check in twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays via the same manner–you write up your progress post on your blog, and link back in the linky that day.
Let the games begin!
P.S. If you’re joining us past the start date of July 7th, no worries. Feel free to jump in whenever. Just write up your goals as above and link to them on whatever the current linky is.
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…